Academic Requirements

Academic Requirements

  • Although the Law School does not expect you to take attendance at each class meeting, students are required by both Law School and bar admissions rules to attend classes regularly and punctually. Regular attendance is generally defined as 80% of class sessions, although you may establish stricter attendance requirements. Students who fail to meet this requirement may be held accountable through a lowered grade or, in extreme cases, through exclusion from the course.   
  • Please notify Yadira Ramos-Herbert, Dean of Students, if a student is absent from your class more than a few times. Repeated absence can be a sign of an underlying personal issue; in this case, notifying the administration will both allow the student to get assistance and mitigate the difficulty to you of assessing performance of someone who has missed class repeatedly.
     
  • Instructors in their discretion may require class participation and/or consider it a factor in grading; this is the norm in seminar classes.  It is best practice to notify your students in writing, or through email or your online course description, if you choose to impose such requirements.
  • Pursuant to ABA Standard 310, faculty should typically expect to provide one classroom hour (50 minutes) of instruction per week for every point of academic credit offered. In addition, faculty should typically assign to students at least two hours (120 minutes) of out-of-class work per week for every point of academic credit offered. The ABA standard permits variance from this norm, as long as the total expectation is at least three hours of work per week (or 45 hours per semester) for every point of academic credit offered. 
  • If you need to cancel a class, fall below the required minimum meetings, and cannot make up the time by extending other class sessions please arrange for a guest lecturer or a makeup class. (When scheduling makeup sessions, it is a good idea to ask your students which of your suggested times might be most convenient for them.  You can also have such sessions taped for the benefit of students who cannot attend). Please email room_reservations@law.columbia.edu to request a room for a make-up class and avrequest@law.columbia.edu to request a recording of your class. If you have questions about meeting times, please contact Hazel May, Dean of Registration Services.
  • Columbia University is dedicated to facilitating equal access to all educational resources, and to cultivating a campus culture that is sensitive and responsive to students' needs. Please endeavor to be flexible when students request accommodation for religious observance, health or family emergency, or similar circumstances. If you have questions about any specific requests, please contact Yadira Ramos-Herbert, Dean of Students.
  • Students who request accommodations on the grounds of disability should be referred to Christy Pastore, Director of Registration Services, who coordinates the provision of accommodations pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act and ABA Standard 207.
  • It is customary to record classes that are held on major religious holidays so that students are not disadvantaged by absence. If you would like to arrange to record your class please write to avrequest@law.columbia.edu. If you are unable to attend class for reasons of religious observance, please reschedule the class in consultation with the enrolled students and write to room_reservations@law.columbia.edu to reserve a classroom.
  • Columbia Law School examinations are administered by the Office of Registration Services using an anonymous grading system. Student exam answers are identified by a randomly assigned exam number.The student’s identity is revealed to the instructor after s/he has assigned the exam grade in LAWNET. The instructor then can make adjustments for class participation or other criteria before finalizing and releasing the final course grade.Grading for courses evaluated by paper or other methods is not anonymous.
  • Examination schedules are circulated before the close of the Change of Program (Add/Drop) period each term. Exam schedules and general Law School examination procedures and regulations are available at http://web.law.columbia.edu/registration
  • Rescheduling an Exam:  Please note that only Registration Services can reschedule an exam for a student, and only for specific circumstances that are outlined in the published examination schedule informationPlease refer to Registration Services any student who contacts you about rescheduling your exam.

Student Certification of Examination Performance

  • By resolution and vote of the faculty, students are required to affirm language of certification when submitting any examination or when submitting written work for credit. Individual faculty members are responsible for ensuring that appropriate certification is submitted in connection with all written work other than exams.  The text of this certification and certification forms available for download, can be found on the Columbia Law School website under the general category of “Academic Rules.”  Please note that all students were made aware of this policy and the implications of its violations at the beginning of their time at the Law School. 
  • If you encounter a situation of potential academic dishonesty in the course of your teaching at Columbia Law School, please contact Yadira Ramos-Herbert, Dean of Students, who can advise you on possible courses of action.
  • Students may sometimes request extensions to complete their coursework after the official Law School deadline. Whether to grant extensions is a matter of the instructor’s discretion, but please keep in mind that extensions can interfere with students’ work in other courses in subsequent semesters. Accordingly, please exercise judgment when granting extensions and do not grant them as a routine matter. Blanket extensions to an entire class are strongly discouraged. 
  • In order to qualify for an extension, students must obtain the instructor's signed permission and file the permission form with Registration Services before the end of the semester for which the extension is granted.
  • All extensions are subject to the following limitations: Students may carry no more than one incomplete grade into the following term of school, and must complete all outstanding work by October 15 of the following academic year. Graduating students must complete all outstanding work by April 1 in order to graduate in May, by October 1 in order to graduate in October, and by the last day of the December exam period in order to graduate in February.
  • Instructors should not grant any extensions beyond these final deadlines, and should strive to ensure that all grades are submitted in timely fashion (four weeks after receipt of all required work, and, in addition, two weeks before graduation for graduating students.) Please take into account your own availability for grading, as well as the student's graduation plans, when granting any extensions.